Church starts drive to replace its trailer worship center
By Lora-Marie Bernard
THE MAINLAND Salvation Army is planning a move to permanent premises after outgrowing its small trailer church.
To build its county presence as a Christian church and boost its reach as a charitable organization, the Galveston Salvation Army has launched a multi-year capital campaign to raise up to $3m to replace the trailer at 4210 Texas Avenue in Texas City with a new church on land already purchased in the 4800 block of Emmett Lowry Expressway.
Another $1m is targeted to help bolster the Army’s Galveston sustainability fund.
The trailer has been a fixture on the back of the Salvation Army’s Texas Avenue lot since 2012. It is the only worship facility Army lieutenants Shannon and Andrew Thorson have known since they arrived in Galveston County in June 2013.
Shannon, who with her husband Andrew is a minister at the long-standing community outreach and charity facility, said: “We have a small congregation – a lot of people don’t realize we are a church.”
She added: “A lot of people don’t realize that we have church services and that we are holding them in the trailer. It’s been hard to grow. It’s been hard to get out in the community.”
Army leaders hope the new location will be high-profile enough to build the congregation, Thorson said.
With the land and the campaign under way, the mother of a newborn baby said her wish to build a youth ministry for the area could come true if the Army plan succeeds.
But a place for babies and restless children to play while their parents worship is something she does not take for granted.
“The lack of a soundproof room and our circumstances can turn people off,” she said.
“We have no place to put them,” she said of the 10 to 15 children who regularly attend the church at present. “Once it gets dark, there is no place to play and run. We want to play games with them but we can’t because we only have one room.”
Thorson said her wish is to see the church’s Friday-night ministry expand into an afterschool program.
“We could have a homework program where college students who want to become teachers can come in and help the students with their homework,” she said.
Photo by Byron Bounds